MLC in Bihar held for murder

MLC in Bihar held for murder

Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Ashok Kumar Agarwal was arrested by the Katihar police at his residence on Monday morning. Agarwal has been charged with killing his employee Dheeraj Kumar with the weapon of one of his bodyguards.

The BJP, in a damage-control exercise, immediately suspended Agarwal from the party for six years.The Member of Legislative Council , on Monday morning, was produced before the chief judicial magistrate who remanded him in 14 days’ judicial custody.Dheeraj, who worked as a munshi (caretaker) at the MLC’s petrol pump, was killed on July 17.

Agarwal’s two bodyguards separately claimed that their firearm went off accidentally while cleaning and a stray bullet hit Dheeraj.However, the victim’s brother Neeraj, an eyewitness to the killing, lodged an FIR against the Member of Legislative Council.In 2008, too, one Vijay Kumar Thakur was killed “accidentally” when the carbine of
Agarwal’s bodyguard went off during routine cleaning.

But such is the clout of the controversial leader in the area that the erstwhile Katihar SP was transferred when he tried to open the case.

In 2003, when oil company officials raided his petrol pump following complaints of adulterated fuel being supplied, Agarwal used his clout to emerge unscathed.The legislator, who faces charges of kidnapping, murder and extortion, is also one of the prime accused in the infamous Forbesganj firing last year.

“It’s better late than never,” said Rashtriya Janata Dal national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Ram Kripal Yadav, reacting to the Member of Legislative Council’s arrest. “Had the police acted on July 17 itself, people’s confidence in the law-enforcing agency would have been reposed,” he added.

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